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Sometimes the spring and summer months may bring a barrage of weddings your way. When it is wedding season and you have received an invitation to someone's wedding, it is time to prepare for their special day. Just because you aren't the one getting married, doesn't mean that there is no planning involved in your attendance. It's always a good idea to be a mindful and polite guest. The one thing that no one ever intends to do is to be that one wedding guest that the bride wishes that she hadn't invited.

Wedding Gift

The couple has gone to the trouble to prepare a wedding registry. The reasoning behind this is simple: they have some basic necessities for their new home. It is best to simply get the couple a gift that they have asked for on their registry. This eliminates the hassle of returning something that doesn't match, that they don't want to put in their home, or that won't work for them. If you insist on not following the registry, perhaps a gift certificate to their registry store is best, or a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant in town, or simply a monetary gift would work. If you aren't attending the wedding, it is best to send a gift via mail before the date. When you receive an invitation, it is customary to send a gift regardless of your attendance.

RSVP

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If you receive a card for the RSVP in the wedding invitation, it is because the bride expects you to "respond, please." She wants to be able to have an adequate head count for her planning and preparations with the caterer, baker, venue, parking, etc. When you don't RSVP and you show up, you may just throw a kink in her plans. It is also important to note the number of people that will be attending with you, if asked. Your invitation will say "and guest" or "and family" if others are implied. Or your RSVP card may say "+1" or it may ask for number attending, which insinuates that your children or date are indeed invited. If you are sent a paper RSVP in with the invitation, you are expected to use it. It is never right to text, email, or phone in your response.

 

Drinking

As in most situations, please be mindful of the amount that you are drinking. Over drinking can lead to a scene, terrible dancing, and embarrassing speeches. More importantly, it will lead to a bad memory for the happy couple that is getting married. If you have a tendency to "have a really good time" at weddings, be sure to give yourself a cutoff amount. After so many drinks, order a soft drink, soda, or iced tea. You can still continue to have a good time, so long as you don't end up like this wedding guest:

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Social Media

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Everyone is usually excited to spread the word of a friend's or loved one's wedding. Be sure to not share any pictures of the happy couple until they have posted their own pictures and avoid sharing too much information about the day, unless they have given permission. For couples that encourage sharing pictures and information, hashtags are often used to organize the social media. Just be mindful of the couple's preference; you wouldn't want to break their news unless they are aware of it. Also be conscious of the professional photographer. They have a job to do, so don't get in their way. It might be a good idea to keep your cell phone put away in your pocket or purse during the wedding. It may be a distraction for others anyway.